At only five years old, Saroo Brierley got lost on a train in India. Unable to read or write or recall the name of his hometown or even his own last name, he survived alone for weeks on the rough streets of Calcutta before ultimately being transferred to an agency and adopted by a couple in Australia. Despite his gratitude, Brierley always wondered about his origins. One day, after years of searching, he miraculously found what he was looking for and set off to find his family.
"Hard book to rate... 3 or 4?"
This is how wars are fought now by children, hopped up on drugs, and wielding AK-47s. In the more than 50 violent conflicts going on worldwide, it is estimated that there are some 300,000 child soldiers. Ishmael Beah used to be one of them. How does one become a killer? How does one stop? Child soldiers have been profiled by journalists, and novelists have struggled to imagine their lives. But it is rare to find a first-person account from someone who endured this hell and survived. In A Long Way Gone, Beah, now 26 years old, tells a riveting story in his own words: how, at the age of 12, he fled attacking rebels and wandered a land rendered unrecognizable by violence.
In 1985 southern Sudan is ravaged by war. Rebels and government forces battle for control, with ordinary people…people like the boy, Salva Dut…caught in the middle. When Salva's village is attacked, he must embark on a harrowing journey that will propel him through horror and heartbreak, across a harsh desert, and into a strange new life. Years later, in contemporary South Sudan, a girl named Nya must walk eight hours a day to fetch water. The walk is grueling, but there is unexpected hope.
A ferocious firefight with Iraqi insurgents - caught on tape by an embedded Fox News crew - has transformed the eight surviving men of Bravo Squad into America's most sought-after heroes. For the past two weeks, the Bush administration has sent them on a media-intensive nationwide victory tour to reinvigorate public support for the war. Now, on this chilly and rainy Thanksgiving, the Bravos are guests of a Dallas football team, slated to be part of the halftime show.
"Oh-ooo Say, Can We See?"
Happily retired in the village of Three Pines, Armand Gamache, former Chief Inspector of Homicide with the Sûreté du Québec, has found a peace he'd only imagined possible. On warm summer mornings he sits on a bench holding a small book, The Balm in Gilead, in his large hands. "There is a balm in Gilead," his neighbor Clara Morrow reads from the dust jacket, "to make the wounded whole." While Gamache doesn't talk about his wounds and his balm, Clara tells him about hers. Peter, her artist husband, has failed to come home. Failed to show up as promised on the first anniversary of their separation. She wants Gamache's help to find him. Having finally found sanctuary, Gamache feels a near revulsion at the thought of leaving Three Pines. "There’s power enough in Heaven," he finishes the quote as he contemplates the quiet village, "to cure a sin-sick soul." And then he gets up. And joins her.
"Louise, what were you thinking?"
Back on Earth with nothing more to show for his long, strange trip through time and space than a ratty towel and a plastic shopping bag, Arthur Dent is ready to believe that the past eight years were all just a figment of his stressed-out imagination.
"In love with the girl "
Rosemary Harper doesn't expect much when she joins the crew of the aging Wayfarer. While the patched-up ship has seen better days, it offers her a bed, a chance to explore the far-off corners of the galaxy, and, most importantly, some distance from her past. An introspective young woman, she's never met anyone remotely like the ship's diverse crew, including Sissix, the exotic reptilian pilot; chatty engineers Kizzy and Jenks, who keep the ship running; and Ashby, their noble captain.
"I knew I should have bought this earlier."
Lou Berney's The Long and Faraway Gone is a smart, fiercely compassionate crime story that explores the mysteries of memory and the impact of violence on survivors - and the lengths they will go to find the painful truth of the events that scarred their lives. In the summer of 1986, two tragedies rocked Oklahoma City. Six movie theater employees were killed in an armed robbery while one inexplicably survived. Then a teenage girl vanished from the annual state fair. Neither crime was ever solved.
"Mr. Berney deserves a larger audience."
Nelson Mandela is one of the great moral and political leaders of our time: an international hero whose lifelong dedication to the fight against racial oppression in South Africa won him the Nobel Peace Prize and the presidency of his country. Since his triumphant release in 1990 from more than a quarter-century of imprisonment, Mandela has been at the center of the most compelling and inspiring political drama in the world.
"Surprisingly honest autobiography."
In the near future, when America has become a police state, 100 boys are selected to enter an annual contest where the winner will be awarded whatever he wants for the rest of his life. Among them is 16-year-old Ray Garraty, and he knows the rules - keep a steady walking pace of four miles per hour without stopping. Three warnings and you're out - permanently.
"Great Story, Clipped Audio"
The Western Front, 1916. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong and the wind in the leaves. Where have the mud, blood, and blasted landscape of no-man's-land gone? For that matter, where has Percy gone? Madison, Wisconsin, 2015. Police officer Monica Jansson is exploring the burned-out home of a reclusive - some say mad, others allege dangerous - scientist who seems to have vanished. Sifting through the wreckage, Jansson find a curious gadget.
"The Long Earth Falls Short"
On March 11, 2003, in Brownsville, Texas - one of America's poorest cities - John Allen Rubio and Angela Camacho murdered their three young children. The apartment building in which the brutal crimes took place was already run down, and in their aftermath a consensus developed in the community that it should be destroyed. It was a place, neighbors felt, that was plagued by spiritual cancer.
"Far more than I bargained for."
It's 2070-71. Nearly six decades after Step Day, a new society continues to evolve in the Long Earth. Now, a message has been received: "Join us". The Next - the hyperintelligent posthumans - realize that the missive contains instructions for kick-starting the development of an immense artificial intelligence known as The Machine. But to build this computer the size of an Earth continent, they must obtain help from the more populous and still industrious worlds of mankind.
"A little weak to be honest."
What happens when Joey and his sister, Mary Alice - two city slickers from Chicago - make their annual summer visits to Grandma Dowdel's seemingly sleepy Illinois town? Joey and Mary Alice make seven summer trips to Grandma's, each one funnier and more surprising than the year before.
Perhaps one of the biggest issues all women face is their own insecurity. Beth Moore, one of today's most admired and trusted Christian writers, wants women to be free from the insecurity trap. So Long, Insecurity will strike a chord with women everywhere, as Beth speaks truth into the lives of listeners, showing them how to deal with their innermost fears, rediscover their God-given dignity, and develop a whole new perspective.
Vagabonding is about taking time off from your normal life - from six weeks to four months to two years - to discover and experience the world on your own terms. Veteran shoestring traveler Rolf Potts shows how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel.
"Loved it! - Great resource"
Kate Schechter would like to know why everyone she meets knows her name - and why Thor, the Norse god of thunder, keeps showing up on her doorstep. Dirk Gently, detective and refrigerator wrestler, can uncover the mystery, and only the absurdist wit of Douglas Adams can recount them with such relentless humor.
"Makes you miss him even more..."
With a seven-year age difference, Ryke and Daisy have faced an uphill battle in the eyes of the world and their families. Known as the most adventurous, fast-paced couple, their next step has always been elusive to the rabid media. Behind the scenes, heartbreaking troubles continue to test Ryke and Daisy's resilience and shape their future together.
It's 2045-2059. Human society continues to evolve on Datum Earth, its battered and weary origin planet, as the spread of humanity progresses throughout the many Earths beyond. Lobsang, now an elderly and complex AI, suffers a breakdown and, disguised as a human, attempts to live a "normal" life on one of the millions of Long Earth worlds. His old friend, Joshua, now in his 50s, searches for his father and discovers a heretofore unknown family history.
"The series is losing its way"
Our world is being transformed by the Internet and the near limitless choice that it provides to consumers; tomorrow's markets belong to those who can take advantage of this. The Long Tail is really about the economics of abundance, an entirely new model for business that is just starting to show its power as unlimited selection reveals new truths about what consumers want and how they want to get it.
"Good Book, Flawed by Repition"